Holiday Safety: Keeping Your Car and Home Safe from Thieves and Vandals

Insurance companies see many claims during the holiday season. If it’s not a kitchen fire, there are items stolen out of a car or gifts stolen from beneath a beautiful Christmas tree. It’s unfortunate, but even though this is the season for giving, it’s also the season for taking. You can easily prevent a kitchen fire by following the steps in this article, and there are a few steps below that you can take to prevent thieves from targeting you too.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Don’t leave gifts and valuables in the vehicle even for a minute. Everyone knows that people are giving and receiving expensive jewelry and gadgets during the holiday season, so don’t invite thieves by leaving everything in plain sight. Avoid leaving your car unattended if it’s filled with valuables, including your cell phone and sunglasses. When it comes to Auto Insurance, don’t count on being covered for theft, unless your car is stolen. And remember, if any items  get stolen out of your vehicle, Comprehensive Insurance will not cover the loss. You’ll have to file the theft with your Renters or Homeowners Insurance policy.  It’s always wise to use an anti-theft device in your car. These gadgets may even earn you a discount on insurance.

Away from Home

If you’re out for the evening, leave lights on as well as the TV or radio. Make sure all windows and doors are locked. Keep all gifts (possibly even your Christmas tree) out of plain view. If you’re gone for an extended period of time, it’s always best to try and have someone house sit for you. If that’s not possible, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house, get the mail, shovel the snow and even park in the driveway occasionally to keep thieves at bay. Setting your lights to automatic timers is a great way to make it seem as if you’re home in the evenings. Yes, it’s time to make yours a smart home.

Shopping Safety

Thieves and pickpockets lurk in crowded malls which is where you’ll likely find yourself during holiday shopping season. Stay alert of people around you and try to keep your distance from others. Carry purses close to the body and beware of straps that can easily be yanked. Men should place wallets in their front pants pockets to deter pickpockets. Avoid carrying lots of cash (use credit cards or checks if possible). Park in a well-lit area and lock your cars and close all windows. If you have other items you’ve just bought, put these packages in the trunk before you go shopping again. Again, don’t leave packages in plain sight. Hide them in the trunk. Otherwise, don’t leave your valuables unattended in your car for any period of time.

Hide Boxes from Gifts

Break down boxes left from gifts and hide them in the garage until your regularly scheduled garbage pick-up. Boxes give away pricey items like computers and speakers. Thieves will often search your garbage after a holiday to get a sense of what types of new equipment you may have in your home. Keep your friends’ and family’s generosity to yourself or you may be at a loss.

Keep an Inventory

As paranoid as you may feel doing it, it may not be a bad idea to photograph all your new items in case you do experience a break in. Along with the photo, you’ll want to have a brief description and any serial numbers that may apply. This information can make filing a claim much easier for you and the agent helping you. You should already have an existing inventory of valuables in your home, such as TVs, cameras, jewelry, computer and office equipment and more.

The Best Protection

Being properly insured is the best way to protect yourself. Your Home Insurance or Renters Insurance is especially vital this time of year, when theft is on the rise. Bundling your Auto Insurance with your Homeowners or Renters Insurance is the easiest way to save money on your premiums. Talk to an Insurance Specialist about your needs and concerns so they can shop around and find a policy that works for you: (888) 772-4247.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

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